“Friendly competition” will be the buzz phrase for DJ Premier and Pete Rock, now that two legends have begun work on their collaboration album.
The 12 song album will be split evenly. Each producer plans to keep their list of emcees secret. Premier would have started sooner, but had to make final adjustments for the December release of his Year Round Records compilation Get Used To Us.
“The Pete Rock project, we just started that last week. To finish the compilation album I had to put that on the back burner,” Premier told Beats, Boxing & Mayhem. “I addressed that with the artists I got on there. Pete’s not supposed to tell me who he got, and I’m not supposed to say who I got. I got four already, I just need to get two more. We’re doing six songs each and then we’re ready to go.”
Recently, Premier allowed Pete Rock full access to his studio to work on the album. The intent was not completely due to good will; Premier admits he used the opportunity to eavesdrop on his friend’s work.
“Pete came to my studio and laid one of them with one of the artistes. I took sneak listen and the shit sounds hot. He doesn’t even know I heard it, but that’s what he gets for doing a session in my studio,” Premier said jokingly.
The competition may be tongue in cheek, but DJ Premier also realizes their album will break new ground. Never before have two consensus all-time great Hip-Hop producers collaborated on a full LP in this format. Although he knows their names will ensure fan and media attention, Premier is adamant that this won’t be a project where they coast on past laurels.
“It is a competition, but a fun one of course. The lineup I got is Illmatic! People are going to go crazy on this shit,” he explained. “I’m going to be done with that hopefully by the end of December. We feel that people are going to buy it just on the strength. So when you hear the artists that we got for the battle, it’s going to be so much fun. It’s rare artists in the industry where everyone is going to be like ‘oh shit, how’d you get with him?’ I have to come up with two more.”
Premier is understandably secretive on letting too much information out this early. But when pressed, the surviving Gang Starr member was willing to verify one of his recruited emcees.
“I’ll tell you one that I got…The GZA,” Premier confirmed. “Me and GZA? Oh my God. That’s the only one I’ll tell you.”
DJ Premier’s Year Round Records will drop the compilation Get Used To Us on December 7. At press time, Pete Rock and DJ Premier’s album title and release date are still pending.